This is the story of a Canadian Crown Corporation birthed during the second world war to provide much-needed synthetic rubber for Canada and its allies. It describes its development following WW II as it became a major player in the production of synthetic rubber globally. This involved the need to combat prejudices against synthetic rubber, and the development/production of many different types of synthetic rubber. Along the way ownership changed many times, starting as Polymer Corporation and with the latest owner being Arlanxeo. Along the way, it received many awards, including one of the ten best Canadian Engineering achievements of the previous 100 years.
Yokohama claims to have developed the world’s first technology to enable the efficient production of butadiene from biomass. The breakthrough is said to have been achieved at the Bio-monomer Production Laboratory, a facility jointly established by Yokohama, Riken and Zeon. Butadiene is one of the core raw materials needed to produce synthetic rubber for automotive tires.
At present, industrial butadiene is produced as a by-product of naphtha pyrolysis. Thus, the development of a butadiene production technology will help reduce dependence on petroleum and cut CO2 emissions.